Well I didn’t really expect another furniture makeover. We’re busy working on our kitchen makeover and those posts will be coming soon. However, I can’t stay in one room to save my life. The kitchen naturally makes my designing mind go to the dining room. It makes sense right?
The Farmhouse Cottage Dining Room
Our dining room connects to our living room with openings to a hallway and the kitchen. It’s one of those odd “L” shaped floor plans from the eighties. We actually opened up the two walls so there would be direct access to the kitchen and hallway WITH A WINDOW to the backyard!
Ok, enough of my ranting about the weird design. The point is that our dining room is small and you can see part of it right when you walk in the front door. We have a seven foot farmhouse dining table in there (that I bought off of Craigslist) and we really like that it can fit a lot of people around it.
The issue with the dining room isn’t only the lack of space but also the lack of storage. My kitchen doesn’t have storage for tablecloths, vases, serving pieces and things like that. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I don’t like too much clutter. I like enough decor to be cozy. But as I’ve said before, I’ve done the maximalist thing back in the eighties and nineties!
So of course I wanted farmhouse, cottage storage, on a budget, that didn’t look too cluttery.
I decided that on the two walls facing the back, we could either DIY some built- ins, or find a couple of matching cabinets/hutches. The DIY route would have been a great solution if we didn’t have other projects in the works.
I began to look around online for inspiration. I came across Jill Sharp’s homepage. She has a dining room with two whitewashed cabinets that have chicken wire on the front. Really gorgeous. But what are the chances that I could find two matching cabinets anytime soon?
So I looked on Facebook Marketplace with the search “two cabinets”, “pair of cabinets”, and I found them. I couldn’t believe it! They had the chicken wire and everything! What?
The only problem was that they were two hours away and Rob was out of town. I sent him a text with the link to my inspiration photo and these cabinets on Marketplace. He puts up with these kinds of texts from me all the time. But he liked them!
I called the seller and worked out a price. He was asking $250. but was willing to take $235. He wouldn’t really commit to holding them, so for the next two days I had to hope and pray that someone else didn’t buy them.
Rob flew back into town and got home at lunchtime. We drove the two hours that afternoon. My youngest son went with us. I was so excited. But….
More Work Than I Expected
From the picture on Marketplace, I had hoped that I wouldn’t have to do much to the finish. However, when I saw them in person, I loved them, but I knew the finish was not going to work. It was quite dark, which I don’t mind. But when we got them put in the dining room, they just looked dated.
We took one out into the garage and I sanded it down. It was hot and tiring. But I really wanted the wood to show through a whitewash. It didn’t work out that way. It turned pink when I put the white stain on. Now I know I could have corrected this with a couple more steps. However, at this point, I had put more hours into this project than I wanted to. Plus, I remembered my inspiration photo!
You know what happened next!
A couple of coats of chalky paint later and I’m so happy with them. I used the paint from Home Depot and had it tinted to the white that I wanted. I added a coat of polyurethane over the top.
The End Result
These cabinets are working beautifully for storage with style. I might change out the glass shelves for wood in the future. But for now, all my “stuff” is stored but it doesn’t look like Hobby Lobby threw up in my dining room.
There is a drawer at the bottom of each one that I can store tablecloths and cloth napkins in. The chicken wire on all of the openings is a brass color. It looks vintage and amazing! I added unfinished wooden knobs for now while I’m on the lookout for something else. Not sure what yet. I’ll know it when I see it!
So what do you think of my find? I can’t believe how quickly I found it with the same details as my inspiration piece, and two matching! The furniture fairy granted my wish this time!